Kevin Magnussen overcame a slow start to score his first British Formula Three win in the first of the three British Formula Three International Series races at Snetterton.
The Dane had started from second, alongside his Carlin teammate Felipe Nasr, but fell to third off the line as Hitech Racing driver Riki Christodoulou took up second place. Magnussen, who endured a difficult weekend at Oulton Park in the previous round, however, was soon on the comeback trail and retook second with a startling move around the outside of Riches – the first corner.
Though Magnussen had spent only two laps behind Christodoulou Nasr had already amassed a two second lead that the chaser could only trim slightly before a safety car did the rest, collecting the field while Fahmi Ilyas's stranded car was recovered.
Now with Nasr's Brazilian flag liveried Dallara on his nose Magnussen reprised his move of choice, driving all the way around the outside of the championship leader at the start of the first racing lap after the safety car returned to the pitlane. “To pass into the first corner was the only real opportunity, so I just had to go for it,” Magnussen stated, almost regardless of the difficulty of his chosen passing technique.
“Before the safety car everything was under control for me,” said Nasr. “But once the safety car pulled in the wind on the main straight was massive. Kevin did not have this wind in front of him so he got a big tow past me. There was nothing I could do then. Second is still a very good result for the championship.”
Nasr's late race challenge did, however, include a lap of 1:40.103 that claimed the race lap record for the Norfolk track's new 300 layout.
The pair led a Carlin 1-2-3-4 – Carlos Huertas and Rupert Svendsen–Cook also claiming good results ahead of Christodoulou who slid down the order with a spin on lap five.
The Briton held off stablemate Pietro Fantin for fifth, with Hywel Lloyd in seventh – equally his vest result of the season for Sino Vision Racing. Fortec Motorsport trio Harry Tincknell, Will Buller and Lucas Foresti rounding out the top ten. His tenth place also gives Foresti the pole position for tomorrow's reverse grid race two.
Double R driver Pipo Derani was one to end the day disappointed – having to give up fifth place to serve a drive through penalty for an out of position start.
Bart Hylkema kept up his perfect record of Rookie Class victories, beating rival Kotaru Sakurai by six seconds at the checkered flag. The Dutchman was also less than two seconds from beating International Class drivers – a stated ambition.